53 years later and the stock is at a 58 year low after GM was downgraded. Mattel, the toy car maker, now has twice the capitalisation of General Motors. Not good for America… or the UK, FTSE 4000 could be smashed tomorrow…
Any leak hunt should perhaps start by asking questions of McBride and Geoffrey Spence, the City banker turned Treasury insider on the Council of Economic Advisers…
UPDATE 17.50 : From the comments, going around the City:
To all staff in the London Office
We have been informed by the City of London Police that a protest against financial institutions in the City will be taking place from about 3.00 pm till 6.00pm tomorrow. The protest by the ‘Socialist Workers Party’ will originate in the area of Bank Junction and the Royal Exchange. Exact numbers of demonstrators are not known but the Police will be in attendance as normal.
We will be increasing building security arrangements as a precaution. Your safety is our priority and the advice we have received is for staff to use caution and remain vigilant when travelling through the City.
Thank you for your co-operation.
BBC reports :
Four years ago, fearful of a property crash, David and Maureen Somers sold their house and bought gold… Mr Somers and his wife Maureen claim it would be “vulgar” to say how much they invested in gold. However, he does say they sold their three-bedroom, detached house in Poole for a significant profit, and the couple have since almost doubled their money again in gold.
“Over thousands of years gold has never reached zero. The price is a risk, but at the end of the day I will still have the same amount of gold,” he says.
“There are people who probably hold bank shares that would have been seen as conservative investments and you could question what they are going to be left with.”
Gold-bugs, not so crazy now, eh?
So Guido says goodbye (in Icelandic) to Singer & Friedlander :
From: Armann Thorvaldsson
Sent: 08 October 2008 13:53
To: DL All Staff
Subject: Important Message to All
I wrote to you yesterday about our intensive efforts to work through the current crisis and promised to give you more news today. We have worked with a number of investment banks, our parent in Iceland and the FSA over the last two weeks to explore a large number of possible options to ensure the future of KSF. On several occasions, we have come close to finding solutions but the chaos in financial markets has consistently undermined our efforts. We now face the prospect of insufficient liquidity, rapid deposit outflows and no prospects for correcting the situation in the short term.
I have therefore convened a meeting of our Board in order to consider the next step. That meeting has concluded we have no choice but to place Kaupthing Singer & Friedlander into administration with immediate effect. We will give you all more information on the implications of this decision in the course of today and ask for your patience in order to make the best of a very unhappy situation for all of us. Can I ask you to continue work in as normal a fashion as possible, cooperating with the Administrators in their work with us. This decision relates only to KSF Ltd and not its subsidiaries. They will continue to trade unless advised otherwised. We will give a more complete information update later in the day, certainly before 4pm.
You have all worked with incredible effort to make KSF a success and we were well on our way to achieving it before the credit crisis had such a sudden and disastrous effect. Now I can only ask for your help in making the end of the process as orderly and professional as possible.
I am personally gutted that it has come to this, especially in light of the fact that our problems have arisen out of association rather than any fundamental problems with the business. On the contrary I belief that we have built a great business over the last couple of years and during this time I have worked with many of the most talented and professional people I have ever met. I am very sorry.
Kaupthing Singer & Friedlander Group Plc
One Hanover Street
Won’t be the last…
Her Majesty The Queen has been pleased to approve, under the Bank of England Act 1998, the appointment of Charles Bean as a Deputy Governor of the Bank of England for Monetary Stability, for a period of five years.
This explains a lot.
Guido has lost track of the repeated Bank of England interventions to try and flood liquidity into the money markets. Those alone could easily be as much as £200 billion or more.
The government bail out, never mind the Bank interventions, is secured against the hard work of Britain’s 28 million taxpayers. The government is risking more than £10,000 for each taxpayer.
UPDATE : The bail-out we are told was finalised at 5 a.m. this morning, the tri-partite authorities meeting in Downing Street was at 5 p.m. last night. Good to know that a £300 billion plan to “guarantee” the economy can be cobbled together in less time than it takes to do a school homework project. Fills Guido full of confidence.